Committee identifies top candidate for College of Education dean

FAMU's College of Education has been without a permanent dean since May 2017.
Photo submitted by Shavell Martin

The search committee for a new dean for the FAMU College of Education has encountered a hiccup three months into its second attempt to find a leader for that college.

Per the provost’s request, the search committee is to submit the names of at least three potential candidates without ranking them.

However, committee members during a meeting on Nov. 21 were questioning that request because they said one of the three finalists was clearly the strongest candidate.

The final candidates are: Donyell Roseboro, Alisa Teliaferro and Allyson Watson. All three have doctoral degrees, but not all have experience as a dean.

“In leadership, Watson outscored the other two; in management, same thing, resource development, same thing, matter of fact it’s all of them,” Marlon Honeywell, the search committee chair, said.

Based on the last search for a dean – which ended last summer without a new dean – the committee submitted four names but only two went forward and the individual who most committee members wanted wasn’t even considered.

Now that the committee is searching again, members said they fear that if they were to recommend one person, that person may turn down the offer. If there was a second person, then that person could be acceptable if the first person turns the offer down. But If the third person is also recommended, committee members said, the university might end up with a candidate that the College of Education does not think is suitable.

“I do feel that as part of a committee here with all of our faculty who will be working directly with the person who is selected, that our recommendation should also be weighed heavily because If the committee submits three names to the provost, does that say to him that we are OK with those three people and he should choose whomever he feels is the best person for the job?” committee member Rose Campbell, an administrator with the Department of Educational Leadership and Counseling, said.

To reassure the committee, Marion Frenche, a member of the Greenwood/Asher search firm who is assisting in candidate selections, said: “When you describe the strengths and the observations you are giving feedback that this individual is stronger than this individual.”

Since the provost does not want the candidates to be ranked first, second or third, committee members are going off of their observations and experiences with each candidate.

Watson, the preferred candidate, is a graduate of Bethune-Cookman University. She majored in elementary education. Watson also holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in educational administration, curriculum, and supervision from the University of Oklahoma.

She was appointed dean of the College of Education at the University of South Florida last summer.

Watson was also an assistant dean for the College of Education at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Oklahoma.

“We have to make it communicated that if it’s not Watson or Teliaferro, that this is a failed search. Roseboro is just not qualified,” David White, associate professor with the Department of Secondary Education and Foundation, said.

Serena Roberts, the director of academic success, supported White’s position. “She (Roseboro) hasn’t been a dean and she doesn’t appear to be strong enough yet to be a dean here with the issues we have going on.”